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Chop Its Neck ?

rhysonsax

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I've got a curved soprano that is lovely to look at and has decent ergonomics, but all my usual sop mouthpieces play flat on it. If I push the mouthpiece as far onto the neck as it will go, the sax still plays about 25 cents flat throughout the range.

The reason isn't the neck cork: the end of the neck actually touches the throat of the mouthpiece which physically will not go on any further.

I don't want to get rid of the sax, so how about some amateur (or professional, if that's what it takes) surgery to reduce the neck length slightly ?

I guess something like 3mm would have to be removed from the end of the neck, which would mean all the end ring would come off, plus a bit more.

Would you do it ? How ?

Rhys
 

Colin the Bear

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I did do it. There's a thread on here about it. There was a hue and cry but the mp now fits and the little blighter plays in tune. I just whipped it off with a fine toothed hacksaw.
 

jbtsax

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I have a couple of ideas. [Caveat: I have not tried these techniques myself, so I am not "speaking from experience".] So for what it's worth:

1. You could try taking away from the volume inside the mouthpiece and see if that makes an improvement. Take a substance like "Blu Tac" and form a 4mm dia. ball. Flatten the material inside the mouthpiece inside the chamber away from the tip. The volume of a sphere is (4/3) pi r 3 . Each ball this size will displace approx. 33.5 cubic mm of volume inside the mouthpiece. You can adjust the amount to bring the pitch up to where you want. To make the change more permanent you could use an equivalent amount non-toxic material that will cure to a hard surface.

2. You could measure the diameter of the mouthpiece shank and using a Forsner bit that size (or a regular bit if you don't have one) bore the inside of the mouthpiece to create a shank a bit longer a few millimeters at a time. Warning: If you use this method and go too far and have to pull the mouthpiece back a bit, you have increased the volume inside the mouthpiece in front of the neck opening and will have caused it to go flat again.
 
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rhysonsax

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Thanks for the replies guys.

Colin - what did your butchery (sorry, delicate surgery) do to the finish and the cork ?

JBT - Interesting. I think you meant volume rather than area. The trouble is that the amount of volume needing to be removed (with Blu Tac) is a huge proportion of the chamber volume of the little sop mouthpiece, and will probably affect the tone a lot. Worth some experimenting before I start cutting though.

Ideally I think I would get a low-cost replacement neck and experiment with that. The tenon diameter on this one is quite large, so the neck from my Yanagisawa is very loose in it.

This horn is a Goodson, which is also pretty much identical to the Saxgourmet Model Six: http://www.nationofmusic.com/index.cfm?action=product_info&item=113&SiteCode=sgoods and also the LA Sax Kim Waters Signature Model Amazon.com: LA Sax la-saxsop-sig-slvr Soprano Saxophone (Silver): Musical Instruments

It is a flashy design, loaded with 'special features', one of which is grooves inside both ends of the neck (cork end and tenon end), similar to the Selmer 'Booster' neck. It looks to me as though the grooves on the cork end are actually a 30-40 mm length of tubing (possibly cylindrical) that has been soldered to the end of the neck. If the designers miscalculated the length needed or the manufacturers got it wrong, then that might explain my problems with this horn.

Rhys

PS Found Colin's previous thread here: Saxophones - Gear4Music
 
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kevgermany

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I'd only cut the neck on a cheapo chinese jobbie. Otherwise I'd make a mouthpiece work. Your call as to which category this sax belongs in.

Given that SG is very active in places and has just set up his own forum, you may want to contact him direct before doing anything drastic. Whether you'd get flannl, a straight answer, or an attempt to sell a custom mouthpiece designed specially for that sax is anyone's gues. I'd use a throwaway email address, that guy pumps out a lot of marketing mails.
 

DavidUK

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Please excuse my ignorance here, always interested.....

Is sharpness or flatness dependent on the length of the crook, or on the internal volume of air, or both?

If you had a fat crook and a thin crook, of equal length, would they play the same note?

:confused:
 

jbtsax

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I recall having a similar problem in the shop where I worked with a Cannonball soprano sax and a Northway mouthpiece that I came in with. The mouthpiece's internal design prevented the mouthpiece from going on far enough to bring the sax up to pitch. We tried several different mouthpieces and found one that could be pushed on far enough to play at A=440. I'm sorry I don't remember which make of mouthpiece worked.

I would not cut the neck of the instrument under any circumstances. I re-read my previous post, and I believe I did use the word "volume".
 

rhysonsax

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I recall having a similar problem in the shop where I worked with a Cannonball soprano sax and a Northway mouthpiece that I came in with. The mouthpiece's internal design prevented the mouthpiece from going on far enough to bring the sax up to pitch. We tried several different mouthpieces and found one that could be pushed on far enough to play at A=440. I'm sorry I don't remember which make of mouthpiece worked.

I would not cut the neck of the instrument under any circumstances. I re-read my previous post, and I believe I did use the word "volume".

In the formula part of your post: "The area of a sphere is (4/3) pi r 3" but I know what you meant.

It isn't just one mouthpiece that is a problem on this horn, it is all twelve that I have tried ! I can see the tuning coming into line as the mouthpiece goes further and further on to the cork, but no mouthpiece gets it better than 20 cents flat and the lowest notes burble, but decreasingly as it comes into proper pitch.

As it stands, this horn doesn't get played, but it seems to have potential so I am tempted to get cutting. But there's no rush and I can try some more mouthpieces first - maybe my C soprano pice will help.

Rhys
 

DavidUK

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I re-read my previous post, and I believe I did use the word "volume".

I wasn't referring to your post particularly, but re-reading it has perhaps answered my question. So, shortening the neck (ill advised) to reduce volume OR pushing the mouthpiece in will sharpen the note.

What about introducing something into the crook instead of the mouthpiece so as to reduce volume? There may be no advantage other than being able to change mouthpieces (another variable) whereas the crook itself isn't a variable.

I guess uninterrupted airflow is another consideration when introducing foreign objects into the instrument?

Just thinking out loud really!

:shocked:
 

DavidUK

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:confused:

Me again!

Could the tenon end of the crook be machined to push it further into the socket of the sax?

Gonna be expensive!!

:w00t:
 

daveysaxboy

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I had the same model soprano and it was fine for me i found.Is it not just a case of your chops ??? i say this as you have many many mps and from what i've seen it sounds like your always trying many out.I may be wrong and if so tell me.
My Thomann curved i have now is made by the same people that made the Goodson model.Its identical to it but its in gold lacquer,has pearls instead of the Goodson metal pearls,black roo pads,extra large thumb hook and high G.There made by Chateau for Goodson and Thomann.It plays very well and mps i've tryed all play good.What size is your neck and i'll check mine.
 
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jonf

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I think what I'd do is buy another curvy sax neck, direct from China (eBay international sellers might bring one up - I've certainly seen alto ones for twenty quid or so). Then, after testing to see whether it's got the same problem, chop that one. I'd start by just taking off the end ring. If that helped, but not enough, I'd take another two mil.
 

daveysaxboy

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I think what I'd do is buy another curvy sax neck, direct from China (eBay international sellers might bring one up - I've certainly seen alto ones for twenty quid or so). Then, after testing to see whether it's got the same problem, chop that one. I'd start by just taking off the end ring. If that helped, but not enough, I'd take another two mil.

Or if Rhys asks nicely i might send him mine to try,its the exact same neck.
 

jbtsax

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In the formula part of your post: "The area of a sphere is (4/3) pi r 3" but I know what you meant.
Thank you for the correction. You are a better proofreader than I am. :blush:

It isn't just one mouthpiece that is a problem on this horn, it is all twelve that I have tried ! I can see the tuning coming into line as the mouthpiece goes further and further on to the cork, but no mouthpiece gets it better than 20 cents flat and the lowest notes burble, but decreasingly as it comes into proper pitch.
Just for my information, can you tell me what pitch you produce on the mouthpiece alone with your normal embouchure? I find this subject fascinating. I hope you find a solution you can live with. It would also be nice to discover the cause of the problem. Have you thought about contacting Goodson himself about the problem?
 

daveysaxboy

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Thank you for the correction. You are a better proofreader than I am. :blush:

Just for my information, can you tell me what pitch you produce on the mouthpiece alone with your normal embouchure? I find this subject fascinating. I hope you find a solution you can live with. It would also be nice to discover the cause of the problem. Have you thought about contacting Goodson himself about the problem?

I want to know how its took over 3 years to notice this ????? thats how long he's had it.
 

rhysonsax

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I had the same model soprano and it was fine for me i found.Is it not just a case of your chops ??? i say this as you have many many mps and from what i've seen it sounds like your always trying many out.I may be wrong and if so tell me.
My Thomann curved i have now is made by the same people that made the Goodson model.Its identical to it but its in gold lacquer,has pearls instead of the Goodson metal pearls,black roo pads,extra large thumb hook and high G.There made by Chateau for Goodson and Thomann.It plays very well and mps i've tryed all play good.What size is your neck and i'll check mine.

Interesting ! When you say "size" what dimension(s) do you mean ? If you do send me your neck it might come back shorter !

When I first got the horn I noticed this problem and the burbling issue. A tech worked on some leaky pads at the bottom end but the burbling continued and it never played up to pitch, so I put it away in the hope that it would magically put itself right.

I had to play soprano on a recent gig and brought this one out again: someone was also asking about these horns on SOTW which made me want to give it another go. It was still very shiny and flash and still wouldn't play in tune. It is also almost too free-blowing - hardly any resistance at all. My Yanagisawa SC991 is a better all-round horn which does play in tune, but I would still like to get this Goodson horn playing at its best.

But actually now that I have played around some more I think that the cork is actually too fat and quite tapered. If I get busy with some sandpaper then maybe I can get some mouthpieces far enough onto the cork. I will report back in a few days.

Rhys
 

daveysaxboy

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As said you know i got my Goodson before yourself and i loved it.Well my Thomann neck is the exact neck but gold lac so if you want a try just let me know.Sounds like its the cork the way your saying here.

ps,i meant the length,from neck socket to the mp end of the neck.
 
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Colin the Bear

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The problem I had was the crook metal hitting mp metal. I had the same problem with the alto. I have an irreplaceable vintage mouthpiece for alto and a Chinese cheap horn. No brainer. A little deft work with a fine toothed hacksaw and the problem was solved. When the sop turned up with the same problem it took two minutes to decide to whip the bezel off the end.

No damage to cork if you clamp with care. I used a big towel.

Both horns play beautiful now.

If you can sort out the problem by reducing the cork then that's the way to go. Perhaps even replace it with something thinner.

There's no need to re engineer the instrument if all that's needed is a little run of the mill maintenance.
 

Linky Lee

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Maybe it's not a Bb Soprano but a Soprano in A, you're actually pushing too far ;)

On a more serious note, I hope you get it sorted soon!
 

rhysonsax

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This is stange as I did post an update on Friday, but it seems to have vanished. Oh well, here goes again.

Eventually I realised that the cork is tapered too much. Five minutes of sanding it down and now most mouthpieces can go on further and the horn will play in tune. Strangely my favourite mouthpiece (a Berg Larsen) still won't go on far enough, so I guess its bore is tapered or its throat is far back.

It was probably this favourite mouthpiece that misled me because I tried first with that one and, without a reed in place, I looked through the mouthpiece window and saw the end of the neck hard up against the mouthpiece throat.

I also measured the neck at 91mm on the inner side of the curve (opposite the octave vent), from the end of the neck to just underneath the flange. How does that compare with yours Davey ?

The Goodson is very, very free blowing, with much less resistance than my SC991. Most of my mouthpieces are too closed on this curvy or need significantly harder reeds. The one that works best is a Brancher J21 (0.080" tip opening) that I bought from Davey.

It also has a very sweet sound, which I normally like in a soprano, but this is verging on the too sugary !

So in summary: Not a mythical A soprano but a Bb that can be played in tune without major surgery. And it is official - I am an idiot.

Rhys
 

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